Saturday 26 June 2010

What's it all aboot?

For those of you visiting for the first time this item should hopefully go some way to explaining what the 3100 run across the USA is all about and why I'm doing it.

Where and when is the next sponsored run?

My next sponsored run is to be done along a 3100 mile route from the west coast (Pacific) to the east coast (Atlantic) of the USA. The run starts in Huntington Beach, California and finishes in New York City.

I will be running through a total of 15 states. The runs takes in unforgiving heat in the Mojave Desert and relentless climbs in the Rocky mountains with a summit of 11,307 ft (Berthoud pass).

The run starts in May 2011 and will be done over the course of 100 days. I will therefore be running 31 miles a day on average.

Why are you doing it?

The primary motivation for running 3100 miles across the USA is to raise funds for 2 local charities. The first, St Benedict's Hospice (Charity No. 1019410), cared for my Mam during her final days battling cancer in 1995. Ever since then, I have tried to repay the debt of gratitude I feel towards the Hospice and the staff.

The second charity is The Children's Foundation (Charity No. 1000013). I have a young family myself and I'm very proud to contribute to a charity that cares for the health and wellbeing of so many children in the North East. It is estimated that, last year, the charity touched the lives of over 90,000 children.

Who is funding the run?

All expenses associated with the run are coming out of my own pocket. I have already turned down offers of financial support and those funds have gone to the 2 charities. It's so important to stress that every single penny raised will go to the 2 charities. Nobody, but the 2 charities will benefit financially from the run across the USA.

Will you have a support team?

I hope to have a team very similar to the one that supported me so successfully in 2007. We will have mobile accommodation for the entire run.

What is your fundraising target?

I'm not normally one for setting fundraising targets but an event of this magnitude simply has to have one. Given that £34,108 was raised during my last run from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007 the USA 2011 run has a fundraising target of £50,000 (£25,000 for each charity). It's a massive target and with the help of so many generous people out there it's one I'm confident of achieving.

How are you fitting the run across the USA around your normal family/work routine?

The answer to this one is a bit extreme. I'll be quitting my job before I start the run and looking for work when I get back to the UK. This is a massive risk as, like everyone else, I have bills to pay.

A bigger sacrifice than that though is the fact that I will not see my family for just over 3 months. My son, Jack, will be 8 when I run across the USA. It pains me to think about being apart from him for so long.

How much training will you be doing?

Training for the USA 2011 run started in November 2008. Since then I have 3000 miles with various distances, terrains and speeds. I have managed up to a maximum of 120 miles in a week, so far, and up to 37 miles in a single session. I've yet to pick up a major injury from running. I did, however break my ankle in May 2010 while riding my bike on the C2C route.

I now have a "bionic ankle". In other words, I had 2 pins inserted into it to give me a good and speedy recovery.

After a successful period of rehab on my ankle, the focus in 2010 will be continuing to learn how to recover after running the big miles day after day. By the end of the year I hope to be able to run 7 consecutive days of 31 miles without too much fuss.

How can I donate to your chosen charities?

Donations can be made at for St Benedict's Hospice or for The Children's Foundation.

Run Geordie Run t-shirts are available to buy for £10. The full £10 goes to the charities. Yep! Every last penny of your £10 for a t-shirt goes to the charities. This is thanks to Peter McCowie and paying for their production. T-shirts can be paid for via or by cheque direct to the 2 charities. Pleas order here.

There is also a Run Geordie Run charity album especially written and recorded by The Exiles. It can be downloaded here.

Each mile of the run can be dedicated to a lost loved one in the "3000 scheme".  More details here.